Yesterday’s Verdict and TMA’s Challenge

“Justice for George … means freedom for all.”

 Mr. Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s brother

Guilty.  Guilty.  Guilty.  Thurgood Marshall Academy welcomes the verdict rendered yesterday for George Floyd’s murderer.  After years of watching, waiting, and hoping for the jury’s condemnation of a senseless murder captured by cell phone, witnessed by neighbors, and replayed by millions across the globe is an important step and brings a brief moment of celebration—but, it does not bring back the fallen father or leader to his community.  It does not protect our youth or our broader community from the day-to-day violence of policing under the guise of public safety.  Nor does the guilty verdict resurrect Emmett Till, Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright, Ma’Khia Bryant, or the countless other people who have been abused and often lynched in acts of outright racial tyranny.

And yet, yesterday’s outcome marked an important step in our country’s ongoing efforts to achieve true equality, a mission to which the Thurgood Marshall Academy has dedicated itself for 20 years. We will continue to provide opportunities to our brave young people to promote democratic principles, to challenge and combat systemic racism and white supremacy.  As a school community filled with innovative educators, we share Justice Marshall’s belief that “We cannot play ostrich.  Democracy just cannot flourish amid fear.  Liberty cannot bloom amid hate.  Justice cannot take root amid rage.  America must get to work.”

Raymond Weeden, Executive Director, TMA, and Jonathan T. Stoel, Chair of the Board of Trustees, TMA